Bail set for Catalonia's top lawmaker

Spanish judge jails Carme Forcadell, sets her bail at 150,000 euros.

Ben Ariel,

Celebrations in Catalonia after independence declaration
Celebrations in Catalonia after independence declaration
Reuters

A Spanish judge on Thursday jailed Catalonia's top lawmaker, Carme Forcadell, setting her bail at 150,000 euros ($175,000) and ordering her passport to be confiscated as a rebellion investigation continues, The Associated Press reports.

Forcadell is the speaker of the regional parliament where separatist lawmakers passed a declaration to proclaim a new Catalan republic on October 27, disregarding Constitutional Court warnings that such a move was illegal.

The vote was boycotted by most opposition lawmakers.

The Spanish government immediately seized control of the northeastern region following the independence declaration, dismissing Catalonia's regional president Carles Puidgemont and his government, who are now also jailed on preliminary rebellion charges or fighting extradition to Spain from Belgium.

Spain also dissolved the parliament and called a new regional election for December 21.

Prosecutors are pursuing charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement that are punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment under Spanish law against the Catalan officials.

The row began in September, when Catalonia held a referendum on independence from Spain. The Spanish government declared the referendum illegal and cracked down on participating voters. Over 800 people were wounded in clashes with police on the day of the referendum.

On Thursday, Spain Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena questioned Forcadell and five other members of the Catalan parliament's governing body for more than 10 hours before deciding whether to jail them.

The judge set a 25,000-euro ($29,000) bail to be paid in one week for four of the lawmakers, and released from custody another who had made the October 27 independence vote possible by allowing a debate on secession but opposed the declaration of a separate republic.

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Thursday that his government's policy on Catalonia has "100 percent backing" from other EU countries.








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